The taxpayers of Caldwell are on the line for another million dollars in the Treasure Valley Community College building project, in downtown Caldwell along Indian Creek. According to the Caldwell Guardian website, the Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency (CEURA) has taken out a $1 million loan from Intermountain Community Bank to pay for furniture and furnishings in the TVCC building.
According to public records obtained by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, $7.2 million has been allocated for the facility, which is being built by Boise-based Oppenheimer Development Corporation. The CEURA will in turn lease it to TVCC, which is based in Ontario. The original agreement between TVCC and the CEURA was that the college would use the building rent-free for the first two years. But after TVCC’s budget was cut, the arrangement was changed. “We changed that based on a discussion,” said CEURA Chairman ElJay Waite. “The rent they’re going to be paying to us from the very beginning … that’s all it is.” In return, the CEURA will pay for the furnishings with the loan from ICB.
Paul Alldredge, with the Caldwell Guardian, has a problem with that. He said the taxpayers of Caldwell were already sinking over $7 million into the facility, and now another million has been added on top of that debt. But he said TVCC is on a year-to-year lease, and that's what has him really concerned. "If the economy doesn’t turn around, and their budget is cut further, they’re gonna pull out of here. They’ve got nothing invested in the community,” said Alldredge.
He also noted that with property values declining, the CEURA is getting less in tax increment financing now, than when the deal with TVCC was hammered out. That could affect other CEURA commitments, such as the $1 million dollars it donates to the Caldwell YMCA each year, $200,000 in streetscape improvements downtown, as well as bond service payments.
The project is due to be completed this October.
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